Beyond the hundredth meridian: John Wesley Powell and the by Wallace Stegner

By Wallace Stegner


No library of western/southwestern fabrics could be with no this ebook. . . . --Books of the Southwest

This ebook is going some distance past biography, into the character and soul of the yankee West. it's Stegner at his top, assaying a whole period of our historical past, packing his pages with insights as sensible as his prose. --Ivan Doig

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The writer recounts the successes and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the celebrated ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the place of birth of Indian tribes of the yank Southwest. "No library of western/southwestern fabrics will be with out this booklet. . . ."-- Books of the Southwest.

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Any rural area, once frontier, retained some of the stamp: the boyhood of a Thurlow Weed or a John Burroughs or a Jay Gould in upstate New York was not greatly different from the boyhood of a Lincoln or a Garfield or a John Muir in the Midwest. But in the Midwest, over immense regions of a peculiar homogeneity in climate, geography, people, and economic status, the homemade education was typical, and it was made more typical by the way in which successive westering waves repeated the whole process in new country.

By the end of his career he would know the West as few men did, and understand its problems better than any. He would know enough to correct Gilpin in all his major assumptions and most of his minor ones. ” On the maps he carried there were great blank spaces: in less than a year he would be embarked on an exploration that would replace hundreds of square miles of cartographical guesswork with information. As part of his mature work he would plan and begin the systematic mapping of the whole country, a project that even yet is incomplete and will never be finished as he planned it.

He tried the Illinois Institute which his father had helped to organize and which after collapse and reorganization became Wheaton College, and found when he went to register that not a single scientific course was offered. He tried Illinois College at Jacksonville for a year, and left it to go on a long collecting trip across Wisconsin.

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